The rudder took me by suprise.
I should know to always expect the unexpected, but I wasn't really expecting what I saw when I removed the rudder earlier this year.
clearly action was needed. I wrote to my friends at yachting monthly magazine to see if they knew anyone who would give me their opinion.
I wrote to the Dehler owners club too.
opinions varied from stripping back the entire rudder and replacing the stock, getting the stock turned down, replacing with new rudder, getting a new rudder made using the old one as a mold, put a stainless sleeve over the existing stock to replace the old sleeve and epoxy resin to fix the rudder blade.
The latter choice came first, since I have the best access anyone could have to a precision engineer. Enter, my dad once again to find a solution. He worked out the flex and strain capacity of the stainless sleeve, and although an expensive lump of metal and heavy, it works out to be stronger than the original stock, he machined a matching pair of bearings, upper and lower to resin into the boat and epoxy resined the rudder back to the shape it once was.
the result is a vision of beauty to my eyes. The machining was absolutely spot on, despite the bearing being sent in advance and the sleeve being machined afterwards.
Once the rudder was slid back in place, with the bottom bearing epoxied into the rudder sleeve build into the hull, the top bearing screwed in place in the top bar in the cockpit, the rudder turned smoothly and swung easily.